Braves Strengthen Bullpen, Acquire Richard Rodriguez From Pirates For Two Pitchers
Other than minor deals to acquire Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario, the Braves seemed relatively quiet on the trade front until the very last minute. But in the final moments before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, Atlanta added Jorge Soler in one deal and then traded for Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez in a move to bolster its bullpen.
Richard Rodriguez, RHP
Rodriguez has been an effective and durable reliever for the Pirates since the 2018 season. He has an excellent fastball/slider combination, and the pitches play up because of his plus-plus control. The two cautionary tales from this year are Rodriguez gives up some hard contact and his strikeout rate has plummeted (7.3 K/9 in 2021). He should immediately step into a high-leverage role for the Braves.
Bryse Wilson, RHP
A trade to Pittsburgh will likely give Wilson the stability he has long lacked with the Braves. A fringe member of the club’s rotation/bullpen since he made his MLB debut in 2018, Wilson has been optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett 17 times since then, wearing out I-285 as he bounced between fill-in starts/relief appearances in Atlanta while spending much of his time in Triple-A. Wilson’s fastball has lost a tick since he debuted, but to have consistent success in the majors, he needs to figure out a way to improve the movement on it, or sharpen his breaking ball. His changeup has been effective.
Ricky DeVito, RHP
Before going on the injured list with a sore elbow, DeVito impressed, dominating High-A hitters with a mid-90s power sinker and a potentially plus split-change. He has a shot to be a useful piece of the Pirates bullpen a few years from now.